Setting a world first, Luxembourg and Estonia have announced the launch of the first of its kind data embassy in Luxembourg, entailing an entire sovereign backup of the data of the Estonian government in Luxembourg’s territory. The prime ministers of Estonia, Jüri Ratas, and Luxembourg, Xavier Bettel, signed a bilateral agreement to establish Estonia’s first “data embassy” in Luxembourg in early 2018. What will look essentially like a data center but will be considered as sovereign Estonian territory will cost Estonia about 2.2 million Euros for a five-year rental agreement.

Estonia effectively functions without paper, laws and land deeds exist only in digital form. With no paper backup, the country cannot afford for services to go offline.

Estonia’s virtual embassy will open in a data center in Betzdorf, Luxembourg and will be operated by Luxembourg’s government  Center for Information and Technology (CTIE). The same data center is used by the European Commission and NATO, among others.

The concept of a data embassy initiated in Estonia after its capital city became a target of a severe cyber-attack back in 2007.

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